High Heels

Fashion over function?

Did you know that wearing high heels can affect more than just your feet? Common foot problems associated with high heels are bunions, hammertoes, corns, nerve pain, and plantar plate tears. High heels distribute the body’s weight further forward, and the midfoot (which usually dissipates force when walking barefoot) becomes locked in place. This shift forward can place up to 4 1/2 times more bodyweight on the forefoot. Too much pressure on the joint capsules of the long bones of the foot and toes can cause joint capsule pain and inflammation, they can even rupture. The plantar fascia can also shorten with wearing high heels causing stabbing heel pain, inflammation and / or tears.

High heels also affect gait, ligaments, tendons and muscles through the legs and lower back. Calf muscles and Achilles tendons become shortened, knee joints are placed under considerable stress, and hips are often shifted forward which results in lower back compression and tension. The lumbar spine is required to carry more weight with the body’s weight is shifted further forward on heels.